US2842785A - Life jacket - Google Patents

Life jacket Download PDF

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Publication number
US2842785A
US2842785A US428307A US42830754A US2842785A US 2842785 A US2842785 A US 2842785A US 428307 A US428307 A US 428307A US 42830754 A US42830754 A US 42830754A US 2842785 A US2842785 A US 2842785A
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Prior art keywords
bladder
vest
jacket
layer
layers
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Expired - Lifetime
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US428307A
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William C Sieverts
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William C Sieverts
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    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B63SHIPS OR OTHER WATERBORNE VESSELS; RELATED EQUIPMENT
    • B63CLAUNCHING, HAULING-OUT, OR DRY-DOCKING OF VESSELS; LIFE-SAVING IN WATER; EQUIPMENT FOR DWELLING OR WORKING UNDER WATER; MEANS FOR SALVAGING OR SEARCHING FOR UNDERWATER OBJECTS
    • B63C9/00Life-saving in water
    • B63C9/08Life-buoys, e.g. rings; Life-belts, jackets, suits, or the like
    • B63C9/11Life-buoys, e.g. rings; Life-belts, jackets, suits, or the like covering the torso, e.g. harnesses
    • B63C9/125Life-buoys, e.g. rings; Life-belts, jackets, suits, or the like covering the torso, e.g. harnesses having gas-filled compartments
    • B63C9/1255Life-buoys, e.g. rings; Life-belts, jackets, suits, or the like covering the torso, e.g. harnesses having gas-filled compartments inflatable

Description

July 15, 1958 w. c. slEvr-:RTs 2,842,785
LIFE JACKET Filed May 7, 1954 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 weeg-- W. C. SIEVERTS July 15, 1958 LIFE JACKET 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed May 7. 1954 ite rates This invention relates to life jackets of the inflatable type capable of supporting a person in the water.
While life jackets are old and well known, the conventional jacket is of a type that must be worn over rather than under ordinary clothing. Such jackets are usually bulky and cannot be worn with comfort when the user is performing his ordinary duties.
Some of the present day life jackets are often filled with kapok, a bulky light fibre which causes the life jacket to be correspondingly bulky. Other jackets are made to be inflated when used, but the construction of the. inflatable jacket is such that when blown up, it is also of a bulky nature and like the kapok jacket cannot be worn under the clothing.
There are many lines of endeavor connected with the sea in which there is serious danger of falling overboard and in such circumstances it would obviously be of advantage to wear a life jacket at all times. Experience has shown, however, that in most instances, people prefer to take the risk of falling overboard without a life jacket rather than to undergo the inconvenience of wearing jackets of the type that are now available.
In the case of harbor pilots, for example, the hazard of falling into the water is great, as they must transfer from the pilot boat to the larger ship in all kinds of weather, day and night. Men in this profession, however, rarely if ever wear life jackets not because they do not recognize it as desirable that a life jacket be worn, but because of the supposed damage to the pilots prestige. On the other hand, however, it is known that harbor pilots would be glad to wear life jackets if one were available which would not be recognized by others as being a life jacket.
Accordingly, it is an object of the present invention to provide an inflatable life jacket of such construction and appearance that it may be worn as a vest under an ordinary coat without attracting unusual attention thereto. By making the life jacket of materials generally similar to those found in ordinary clothing and cutting the jacket to the approximate shape of the conventional vest, a person may conveniently and safely wear such jacket at all times while performing his usual duties without attracting attention to himself and still he ready to meet the hazard of falling overboard.
The present invention has as a further object the provision of a life jacket that will give no impression to the uninformed onlooker that it is such an article, but at the same time, when inated by a CO2 tube or by mouth or otherwise, the jacket will have adequate buoyancy to keep a person afloat safely.
As can be seen from the drawings which will be described in lmore detail hereinafter, the life jacket is in the form of a closely fitting vest which may be worn inconspicuously under other conventional outer garments, such as a jacket, sweater, or overcoat. The vest is made so that it can be adjusted to fit tightly to the body, but at the same time the outer layer is arranged in such arent Patented July 15, 1958 manner that it may be expanded by the inated bladder, but the degree of expansion will not be so much as to interfere seriously with theh outer garment or the users motion. The jacket when worn looks like an ordinary article of wearing apparel and does not suggest that the wearer is fearful of falling in the water.
A further additional advantage of the present invention is that the inner surface of the jacket or vest tting closely about the body combined with the air space that is present when the jacket has been inated offers excellent insulation against cold water. Since the jacket covers that part of the body in which the heart, lungs and other vital organs are contained, the insulation qualities will enable a person to survive in cold water much longer than otherwise.
The distribution of the inflating gas in the rubber bladder is materially different from that of existing life preservers which in general inllate to circular cross-section with large areas being moved away from the body so that any insulation effect is substantially eliminated. rihat is to say, instead of hugging the body closely as in the present case, the prior art forms while offering ade- 'quate iotation do not act to keep the wearer insulated from the water.
A further object of the invention is the provision of tunnels at the lower part of the vest through which the wearers belt may be passed so that when the jacket is inflated in the water the vest will be held down in normal position.
These and other objects of the invention will be more apparent as the description proceeds with the aid of the accompanying drawings in which:
Fig. 1 is a perspective view of a life jacket made according to the present invention.
Fig. 2 is a section taken approximately on the line 2-2 of Fig. l.
Fig. 3 is a section similar to that shown in Fig. 2 with the life jacket inflated.
Fig. 4 is a vertical section taken approximately on the line 4 4 of Fig. l.
Fig. 5 shows the life jacket in flat extended position with the outer layer broken away to expose the bladder.
Fig. 6 is a section on the line 6'-6 of Fig. 2 showing the lower portion of the back drawn to enlarged scale, illustrating the lacing arrangement.
Referring now to the drawings, it will be seen that the vest generally referred to at 2 consists of an outer layer 4 and an inner layer 6 between which at the two sides of the front, over the shoulders, across the back and down both sides of the back extends a unitary bladder S which is shown in section on dotted lines in Fig. 1, in section in Figs. 2, 3 and 4, and in at form in Fig. 5.
The sectional views of Figs. 2 and 3 indicate the position the vest will assume when positioned normally on the user. The outer and inner layers are stitched together at the front as at 1li and 12 and a zipper 14 is provided for closing the front or breast sections so that the vest may be put on or taken off in the normal The outer layer 4 both at the front and back is of greater circumferential dimension than'the inner layer 6 and is formed with pleats 16 and 18 at the sides of the front sections where it is seamed to the inner layer at d and 22. At the rear the outer and inner layers are not permanently stitched up the middle of the back, but instead, are secured by a removable lacing Zd-see Fig. 6-which is inserted after the bladder is in' place and which prevents removal of the bladder.
The outer rear layer 25 has sides 26 and 2S which are stitched .to the inner layer 27 at 30 and 32 forming pleats at 34 and 36. Lacings 38 and 40 run up both 3 .N sides to enable the wearer to adjust the vest to a proper fit.
The bladder 8 as shown in Fig. 5 has a front left section 42, a front right section 44, a rear left section 46, a rear right section 48 and a connecting shoulder section 50. Provision is made as at 52 for connection therewith of a CO2 cylinder 54. A valve is shown at 56 by means of which the bladder may be inflated by mouth or when the bladder is intiated may be opened to permit deation.
With the lacing 24 removed from the center rear of the vest, the inner and outer layers 25 and 27 may be separated at the rear bottom edge so that the bladder 8 may be inserted. The sections 42 and 44 are inserted first passing upwardly along the back, over the shoulders of the vest and down into the front compartments where they will be positioned as shown in dotted lines in Fig. 1 at 42. and 44. With the front sections of the bladder thus positioned, the neck portion 50 will run across the back of the neck of the vest and the sections 46 and 48 will lie in the positions shown in Figs. 2, 4 and 5. Tunnels 58 are attached to the bottom of the inner layer of the vest through which the users belt may pass to hold the jacket in normal position. The tunnels while shown attached to the inner layers could if preferred be attached to the outer layers.
In an alternative form, the lacing 24 may be permanent or replaced by stitching, which like the lacing will run from at or near the bottom of the back upwardly to a point approximately between the shoulder blades leaving room for the neck portion 50 of the bladder to cross from one side to the other.
When the back is permanently stitched the bladder is inserted by feeding both sections 42 and 44 up one side of the back, passing one of the sections 42 or 44 across the neck so that both front sections will be insertcd in the proper front position and finally passing the appropriate rear section across the neck s that it will be in its proper back position.
With the vest on the user in normal wearing position, it will appear as shown in Figs. 1, 2 and 4 lying flat and close to the body and appearing to be nothing more than an ordinary vest. If the user falls overboard, he then operates the CO2 cartridge 54 in the normal manner causing inflation of the rubber bladder so that the vest then assumes the position shown in Fig. 3. The inner layers 6 and 27 remains snug about the user and the filled air chambers 60, 62, 64 and 66 and the connecting neck portion 50 are immediately developed, but limited in conformation by the extent of the pleats 16, 18, 34 and 36 which unfold as the bladder fills. These inliated areas give further insulation protection to the user but at the same time do not distort the vest sufciently to interfere unduly with the users movements or his other outer garments. The amount of inflation is adequate to keep the user alioat at a proper level.
After the wearer has been rescued the jacket may be deflated by opening valve 56 and after being suitably dried, is then ready to be worn again, giving the appearance of a normal article of clothing.
With the vest removed from the wearer, it may be unlaced at the sides and then laid completely flat with the bladder and covering material in H form, as shown by the unit in Fig. 5. In this condition a number of jackets may be compactly stored one on the other when uninated.
It is my intention to cover all changes and modications of the example of the invention herein chosen for purposes of the disclosure which do not constitute departures from the spirit and scope of the invention.
I claim:
1. A life jacket in the form of a mans vest having inner and outer layers, the inner layer designed to lit closely about the body and the outer layer being of appreciably greater circumferential dimension than the inner layer, a
single H-shaped bladder fitting between said layers having two sections in front, two sections at the rear and a connecting portion extending across the upper back of said jacket, the circumferential dimension of said outer 'layer being sufficiently great to allow said bladder to be inflated to the degree necessary to keep afloat the user of said life jacket without exerting circumferential stress on said inner layer.
2. A life jacket as set forth in claim 1, said inner and outer layers being unconnected at the bottom rear whereby said bladder may be inserted between said layers by movement upwardly and over the shoulders to normal operative position.
3. The life jacket set forth in claim 2 and means for securing the inner and outer layers of the rear of the jacket together between the rear sections of the bladder and below the connecting shoulder section.
4. A life jacket having the general appearance of a mans vest comprising inner and outer layers secured together along the edges of the collar and the front opening and vertically under the armholes at the sides of said vest, the inner layer designed to fit relatively snugly about the body of the user, the outer layer being of greater circumferential dimension than the inner layer and yieldably pleated with respect to the inner layer, a single bladder having at least two front sections and at least two rear sections and a connecting shoulder section positioned between the inner and outer layers, said rear sections extending down along the back of the vest, said shoulder section being positioned at the top of the back of the vest adjacent the collar, and said front sections extending over the shoulders of the vest and down along the front of the vest, and means for inflating said bladder, said bladder when uninfiated causing substantially no visible distortion of the vest when on the user, the pleats in said outer layer being unfoldable to the extent necessary to allow said bladder to be inflated without placing circumferential stress on said inner layer.
5. The life jacket set forth in claim 4 in which the inner and outer layers are unconnected at the bottom of the back so that the bladder may be initially inserted therebetween to be placed in its normal operative position.
6. The life jacket set forth in claim 4 and means at the sides of the vest for adjusting it more closely to the body configuration.
7. The life jacket set forth in claim 4, and means for securing together the central portions of the layers at the back after the bladder is in correct position.
8. The life jacket set forth in claim 4, said pleats being at the sides of the jacket whereby the inner and outer layers will lie substantially parallel across the front of the jacket.
9. The life jacket set forth in claim 4, said inner and outer layers being permanently secured part way up the middle of the back.
l0. A life jacket having the general appearance of a mans vest comprising inner and outer layers of fabric having their edges stitched to each other at the front opening, the collar and the armholes, a single H-shaped bladder comprising a pair of spaced front sections, a pair of rear sections and a connecting shoulder section, said bladder being positioned between the inner and outer layers with said front bladder sections extending over the shoulder portions of said vest and down into the front portions of said vest, said shoulder bladder section extending across the back of the vest at the top thereof and said rear bladder sections extending down along the back of said vest, said inner layer of fabric having a fixed circumferential dimension, said outer layer of fabric being pleated to provide a variable circumferential dimension, said outer layer of fabric being pleated to allow full inflation of said bladder without distortion of the said inner layer of fabric. v
11. A life savingunit comprising when in stretched out flat condition an H-shaped inflatable bladder having two front leg portions, two back leg portion and a connecting shoulder portion, first and second layers of ilexible sheet material covering the top and bottom sides of said bladder, said first and second layers having outer longitudinal edges secured to each other and extending for more than the length of said bladder and each layer being divided longitudinally between said front legs to form breast sections with inner longitudinal edges located between the two front leg portions of the bladder, said inner longitudinal edges of said lrst and second layers of said breast sections being fixedly secured to each other, the said secured inner longitudinal edges of said breast sections meeting to dene a large neck opening positioned forward of said bladder connecting shoulder portion, the transverse dimensions of said first layer at 15 the location of said front and rear legs being suiciently greater than the transverse dimensions of said second layer to permit said first layer to have pleats therein extending along the said outer longitudinal edges adjacent said front and back legs, means securing said iirst and second layers together between said back leg portions of said bladder, means along the said outer longitudinal edges of said layers for use in holding said layers and bladder in doubled vest forming relation whereby when said unit is in use in said vest form said front leg portions of said bladder will be disposed in substantially parallel spaced relation with said back leg portions of said bladder, and means for releasably connecting the said opposed inner longitudinal edges of said breast section to close said vest.
References Cited in the lile of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 874,026 Necker Dec. 17, 1907 1,200,616 Hudson et al. Oct. 10, 1916 1,222,508 Zawada Apr. l0, 1917 1,291,448 Edmonds Jan. 14, 1919 2,377,865 Coombs June 12, 1945
US428307A 1954-05-07 1954-05-07 Life jacket Expired - Lifetime US2842785A (en)

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Cited By (11)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US3047889A (en) * 1958-01-10 1962-08-07 Marksway Wear Ltd Provision of buoyancy for garments and the like
US3261042A (en) * 1964-04-14 1966-07-19 Gentex Corp Buoyant jacket
US3266069A (en) * 1964-07-17 1966-08-16 Stearns Mfg Company Buoyant garment structure
US3436777A (en) * 1967-06-22 1969-04-08 Alden T Greenwood Diver's jacket and buoyancy control device
US3710409A (en) * 1970-03-30 1973-01-16 W Davidson Linear inflatable module device
US4000534A (en) * 1973-12-26 1977-01-04 U. S. Divers Company Buoyancy compensator
US4035857A (en) * 1974-12-23 1977-07-19 Dacor Corporation Divers buoyancy vest
US4137585A (en) * 1977-06-10 1979-02-06 U.S. Divers Co. Buoyancy compensator and inflation system
US4872783A (en) * 1988-06-16 1989-10-10 Greenwood Alden T Balanced buoyancy control diving gear
DE10001302A1 (en) * 2000-01-14 2001-07-19 Guenter Roskopf Life jacket for persons involved in marine disasters comprises individually inflatable air chambers arranged in garment for upper body of wearer
USD762047S1 (en) * 2013-04-19 2016-07-26 D.H. Anderson Holdings Inc. Equestrian vest

Citations (5)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US874026A (en) * 1907-08-27 1907-12-17 Adolf Necker Life-preserver.
US1200616A (en) * 1916-03-24 1916-10-10 Rupert William Nichols Life-saving device.
US1222508A (en) * 1915-09-01 1917-04-10 Mike Zawada Life-saving vest.
US1291448A (en) * 1918-12-09 1919-01-14 Samuel P Edmonds Coat-type life-preserver having removable buoyant members.
US2377865A (en) * 1944-04-14 1945-06-12 Robert E Coombs Life preserver

Patent Citations (5)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US874026A (en) * 1907-08-27 1907-12-17 Adolf Necker Life-preserver.
US1222508A (en) * 1915-09-01 1917-04-10 Mike Zawada Life-saving vest.
US1200616A (en) * 1916-03-24 1916-10-10 Rupert William Nichols Life-saving device.
US1291448A (en) * 1918-12-09 1919-01-14 Samuel P Edmonds Coat-type life-preserver having removable buoyant members.
US2377865A (en) * 1944-04-14 1945-06-12 Robert E Coombs Life preserver

Cited By (11)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US3047889A (en) * 1958-01-10 1962-08-07 Marksway Wear Ltd Provision of buoyancy for garments and the like
US3261042A (en) * 1964-04-14 1966-07-19 Gentex Corp Buoyant jacket
US3266069A (en) * 1964-07-17 1966-08-16 Stearns Mfg Company Buoyant garment structure
US3436777A (en) * 1967-06-22 1969-04-08 Alden T Greenwood Diver's jacket and buoyancy control device
US3710409A (en) * 1970-03-30 1973-01-16 W Davidson Linear inflatable module device
US4000534A (en) * 1973-12-26 1977-01-04 U. S. Divers Company Buoyancy compensator
US4035857A (en) * 1974-12-23 1977-07-19 Dacor Corporation Divers buoyancy vest
US4137585A (en) * 1977-06-10 1979-02-06 U.S. Divers Co. Buoyancy compensator and inflation system
US4872783A (en) * 1988-06-16 1989-10-10 Greenwood Alden T Balanced buoyancy control diving gear
DE10001302A1 (en) * 2000-01-14 2001-07-19 Guenter Roskopf Life jacket for persons involved in marine disasters comprises individually inflatable air chambers arranged in garment for upper body of wearer
USD762047S1 (en) * 2013-04-19 2016-07-26 D.H. Anderson Holdings Inc. Equestrian vest

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